When the original Mickey Mouse Club debuted in 1955, it quickly earned the loyalty of millions of young viewers, who gathered around the set to visit with their favorite Disney cartoon characters, and some human friends as well, such as Annette, Tommy, Bobby, Doreen, and Cubby. When the popular show ended its run in 1959, it made a short-lived comeback in the 70s, with The New Mickey Mouse Club. And three decades after the original, youngsters could once again tune into The All-New Mickey Mouse Club, a modernized version of a classic for an all-new 90s generation of Disney fans. Let’s take a look back.
A modern offspring of the original 1955 program, The All New Mickey Mouse Club, airing from 1989 – 1994, focused on a slightly older audience. Like the first series, each episode featured a unique theme each day, but, for instance, rather than original “Circus Day”, they updated it to “Party Day.” Buddy adventure “Spin and Marty” was replaced by “Teen Angel”, a sweet, supernatural romance. Sadly, the traditional Mickey Mouse ears of yesteryear weren’t worn at all.
The new cast was destined for greatness. The All New MMC featured Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Keri Russell, JC Chasez, and Ryan Gosling before they went on to major fame. The show was taped live at the Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida, and featured an array of campy sketches and music videos. The underlying meaning of some of the featured songs, such as Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack” were probably lost on both the performers and their tween audience. The series produced some stand-alone music groups, including The Party and MMC In Concert.
Other stars made their first guest appearances on MMC, including Bill Nye the Science Guy, who eventually got his own educational series on PBS. And long before Beverly Hills 90210, Jason Priestley and Shannon Doherty both appeared in their own serials. The open cattle call auditions for cast members held around the country, attracted aspiring stars everywhere. Even the kids who didn’t make the cut went on to bigger things – Matt Damon and Jessica Simpson, for example, were both turned down for roles.
All in all, The All-New Mickey Mouse Club served its own generation, much as its predecessors, by entertaining kids with songs, cartoons, and, of course, Mickey. If you were a fan of the show, we’d love to hear your memories in our comments section, as we remember this decidedly retro show, here at Retroland.